Carl Johnson has owned and operated Carl’s Coffee in Newport’s Nye Beach district for about the past six years, and during that time, he has learned of a need for that area.
“I’ve always wanted to put a convenience store down in Nye Beach because we don’t have anything like that down here at all,” said Johnson. “A gallon of milk, some cheese, a candy bar or soda, you have to go all the way up to Highway 101 to get it.”
And so when the Dapper Frog closed its doors at the corner of NW Coast Street and NW Beach Drive, Johnson saw an opportunity. He knocked out a wall between his coffee shop and the adjacent space previously occupied by the Dapper Frog, and he has opened Carl’s Corner Convenience Mart.
Although the market opened in late August, Johnson says it’s still a work in progress. “We should be fully stocked in the next couple of weeks, and by that time the restaurant should be open, as well,” he said.
That restaurant will be overseen by head chef Ryan Newton, whose menu will include a variety of dishes not found elsewhere. “We’re going to do smoked meatloaf and Jamaican jerked smoked chicken that’s battered and deep fried,” he said. “We have some amazing venison biscuits and gravy. I’m a fusion chef, so I whip it all around. I do Polynesian food and Caribbean food and South American food with Middle Eastern spices, so it’s going to be very eclectic.
“We’re a scratch kitchen. Everything that we do is made by hand,” added Newton. “Our grains are imported from Romania … they’re ancient and organic, so people with like gluten issues and allergies or anything like that, they can eat bread like they used to do a long time ago.”
Another unique element about the restaurant is that the breads, pies and cookies will be baked in a 100-year-old, wood-fired oven that Newton has fully restored. “I found it in Tacoma. It took about a month and a half to restore,” he said. “The oven’s name is Elle. My lady is an amazing baker, she’s going to be our head baker, and I named the oven after her.”
The restaurant and convenience mart will also feature Father Time’s Barbecue. “He’s a pretty well known chef in town,” said Newton. “He does barbecue, and he does it very well. He wants to come in and bring his meats and barbecues and have our sides with it. We have a very wide array of talented chefs coming over here to work with us.”
Johnson said Carl’s Coffee will continue with the same line of specialized coffee drinks, but there will now be much more seating available to customers. Even though the coffee shop and convenience mart now share the same space, “it’s actually two different entities right now,” he said, “but eventually it is going to be all one.”
The convenience mart will especially cater to people headed to the nearby beach, said Johnson. “There will be lots of grab-and-go goodies. I’m going to bring in a cold case, where you can come in and grab a sandwich and take off, instead of having to wait for them to make it,” he said. There are also s’more grab bags, which contain all of the ingredients needed to make tasty s’mores over a campfire. “We’re going to have firewood, too.”
Carl’s Corner also has a wide selection of beers and wines. “We’re bringing in a lot really good wines,” Johnson said.
Carl’s Corner is open seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to midnight. The coffee shop is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, and the restaurant will be serving breakfast and lunch during that same time. And then on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. the restaurant will be open for a sit-down barbecue.
“We’ll always have really good specials, to give people a chance to try different foods,” said Newton, “and then once a week we’re going to be doing an all-you-can-eat buffet that’s from a different country of the world. And once a month we’ll be doing a plated, sit-down, course meal for people to try other new stuff.”
More information about the business is available by calling 541-265-8665.